It is well established that consumers often engage in word of mouth to self-enhance. Self-enhancement motives are reflected in consumers' tendency to spread negative word of mouth about others and positive word of mouth about oneself when self-views are threatened. The present research argues that this behavior is not universal. The authors contend that belief in karma moderates consumers' tendency to transmit negative and generate positive word of mouth as a way to self-enhance in response to threat. Five studies offer evidence that, when facing threat, consumers who believe in karma talk less negatively about others, and less positively about themselves, compared to consumers who do not believe in karma. The authors argue that this occurs because threat motivates people who believe in karma to seek karmic rewards, in order to restore their balance with the world. Overall, this research contributes to the literature on word of mouth, by shedding light on a deeply rooted extraordinary belief that shapes word-of-mouth valence.

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Valenzuela Martínez, Ana; Bonezzi , Andrea; Szabo-Douat , Teodora

What goes around, comes around: How beliefs in karma influence the use of word-of-mouth for self-enhancement

10/2018
It is well established that consumers often engage in word of mouth to self-enhance. Self-enhancement motives are reflected in consumers' tendency to spread negative word of mouth about others and positive word of mouth about oneself when self-views are threatened. The present research argues that this behavior is not universal. The authors contend that belief in karma moderates consumers' tendency to transmit negative and generate positive word of mouth as a way to self-enhance in response to threat. Five studies offer evidence that, when facing threat, consumers who believe in karma talk less negatively about others, and less positively about themselves, compared to consumers who do not believe in karma. The authors argue that this occurs because threat motivates people who believe in karma to seek karmic rewards, in order to restore their balance with the world. Overall, this research contributes to the literature on word of mouth, by shedding light on a deeply rooted extraordinary belief that shapes word-of-mouth valence.
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What goes around, comes around: How beliefs in karma influence the use of word-of-mouth for self-enhancement
Valenzuela Martínez, Ana; Bonezzi , Andrea; Szabo-Douat , Teodora
Journal of the Association of Consumer Research
Vol. 3, nº 4, 10/2018, p. 490 - 502

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